The Unrulies went deep into that classic teen hangout, the mall. Welcome to the commentary for "Mall Trawl". Please read the chapter first before continuing.
For once, I have a real location. Oshawa Centre is a real place, with real stores and a real website. Why use a real mall instead of creating my own? First, the real mall already exists, with stores and a map, saving me time. Second, malls are huge; I didn't want to just drop a mall on some residential area and squish the people who live there. Third, malls are landmarks; just as I wouldn't create a stand-in for the CN Tower in Toronto, I wouldn't create a mall when readers may want to find it*.
Caitlin's odd reference come from the Farley Mowat novel, Never Cry Wolf. Mowat described how caibou could recognize the different postures of wolves, whether the wolf is just passing through or is on the hunt. The girls of the Gephardt Academy have learned something similar. A friendly stance allows them to not spook crowds too much, which is handy when they need to get groceries or school supplies. Doesn't mean the people around them aren't nervous, doubly so when a group from St. Dymphna is around. Laura, being new, hasn't picked up on all of the subtle bits of being one of the Unrulies. She's getting on-the-job training.
Dylan has the honour of the first male character of the Unrulies' age to appear and be named. It's only taken nineteen chapters, counting all of The New Girl and The Great Jennifer Round-Up, to get to this point. Autumn's crush Jay still hasn't made an appearance, though he has been mentioned. Basketball Night in Canada is the first Unruly episode to go beyond the school to the point of interacting with the environs. There's also a bit that's similar to what Greg Taylor mentions in one of his commentaries. My main characters tend to be female, and with a series set at an all-girls school, there are few roles for males. Dylan's role is to let Skye show off a bit.
The altercation was already part of Caitlin's plan. She didn't know if there would be one, but she had contingencies in case there was. None of the Unrulies escalated the situation. Caitlin doesn't really have a lawyer, but the Academy does. The Academy believes in keeping tabs on what former students are doing, and has a number of lawyers amongst its alumni. Dylan's lawyer would have to be expensive and good to match.
Skye's baseball reference could use a bit more unpacking. In the sport, there are two types of runs scored, earned and unearned. Earned runs are the usual means of scoring; a runner crosses home plate without being tagged out. This can happen through regular play, advancing on a hit or a sacrifice. Unearned runs occur when the defense, the team in the field, makes an error, as declared by the official scorer. A wild pitch, a throw that goes over the catcher's head, or even the third baseman's, a fumble by an outfielder, all of those that let a runner score are errors, meaning the run is unearned. An unearned run still counts, though.
Going to close with a question. Would it be helpful to have a cast page, with the names of the girls who have appeared?
Tomorrow, the new Unruly episode, Chapter 7, "Bishop to Queen's Level Two".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the history of adaptations continues with the 60s.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Frankenstein Unbound.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.
* Same reasoning leads to schools that don't exist. Malls are open to the public. Schools aren't.